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Storytime - Birthwrite Theatre
Drams (very good)
Venue C venue (34)
Address Adam House, Chambers St
Runs 1-26 Aug (not 14th) at 6pm (7:15)
Tickets £6.50 (£5.50)
Reviewer Daniel Winterstein
Many years ago Sam (Daniel Gilmore) committed a crime too horrible to mention. Now he has returned home, a pitiful wreck. Unable to face the world, he spends his days alone in the attic. His sister Molly (the beautiful Laura Glover) though is determined to rehash the past. She starts to tell his story to an audience of motheaten old toys as if it were a child's bedtime tale, and forces him to join in.
"Are you sitting comfortably?"
"Then we'll begin."
Storytime is a dark and intense piece with truly first rate acting. The 'bedtime story' format is somewhat contrived, but used well. The play flows smoothly, inspite of jumping back and forth from the present day to the sibling's childhood, and is tightly paced. The simple set and production are effective, making it quite claustrophobic.
Strangely, Sam's crime - and the dark side to his character that it implies - are never really examined. Emily Hunka is clearly a talented writer. However she lacked the courage here to get to grips with her subject matter. As a result, even at the end we don't believe that there could be a monster behind such a nice charming brother. This undermines some of the play's aims, and leaves it without a sense of closure. What is left though, is an excellent study of the relationship between him and his sister. Birthwrite show a lot of potential, and there is much to recommend here.
© Daniel Winterstein, 5th August 2001